Thursday, July 17, 2008

Timi's Letter to Obama

This is a letter that my budding "ata wewe" political activist of a brother wrote to Barack Obama. A saucy if not interesting read. I have often told him to forward his thoughts to me as I think they were worthy of publishing. Let's discuss.

My Problem with Barack

By Timi Odulate

I was born in Washington DC to Nigerian parents. I am a Philadelphia, PA resident, and I graduated from Temple University with a double in Computer Science & Political Science with a minor in French. I drove 2 and a half hours from Washington to Philadelphia to vote for Barack in the PA primary due to the fact that I’m still a Pennsylvania resident, after telling my boss that I was taking part of my day off to assert my constitutional right to vote.
I also braved the commute because it was one of the most motivated periods of my life. I was intrigued, zealously so, by somebody who had adopted the right views and positions about the path that this country was long overdue for, despite the paradoxically suicidal path elected officials had assumed, and their willingness to continue bleeding the country until it was dead. I was captivated by someone who wasn’t afraid to change the fate of this country. The citizenry, prior to Barack’s emergence on the national scene, were comparable to a dying person refusing a blood transfusion. How else could you explain the re-election of our current president and the world’s subsequent declaration that Americans were stupid, embodied in a UK paper’s headlines on Thursday November 4, 2004, The Daily Mirror, “How can 59,054,087 people be so Dumb?” Americans made this decision with the knowledge that the basis for war, weapons of mass destruction (now affectionately known as WMDs) was manufactured and thus non-existent.
It was frustrating that what was common sense to the rest of the other 50 million or so voting electorate was apparently rocket science to the remainder of that said electorate. The Republican Party, and George Bush, until recently, were immensely averse at using issues to polarize the electorate and using dirty tricks to smother their opponent. An excursion into the annals of political science will reveal that that concept has been historically utilized for a considerable amount of time, and it tends to benefit Republicans more than Democrats because Democrats will usually respond negatively to dirty tricks by their candidate as opposed to the same by a Republican candidate and his supporters. Gay marriage, weakness on our national defense, and a charge that the Democratic candidate was wayward, shamelessly convinced the rest of the nation into voting for a weaker candidate thus plunging the country into deeper economic mediocrity whilst lowering our moral standing with the international community.
I never understood why such a number of people allowed themselves to be confused or polarized by the aforementioned tricks. I supported Barack because he spoke the truth from the beginning. I firmly believe his stark increase in popularity was due to the fact that the truth never goes away and can only be discovered. He spoke against the war. He said we didn’t properly assess the consequences and that was true. He said we rushed into it and that was also true. We were told by Republicans, including McCain that the oil would pay for the war. Huh? The long-held Democratic view that Bush’s tax cuts were only benefitting the wealthy and were ruining the economy and middle class is being proven more and more every day. The weakening of the US dollar against all other major currencies and its contributing effect on oil prices has put the majority of the country in an immensely compromising situation. Did anybody notice that America is being bought up by the world? All part and parcel of the status quo. I just can’t remember when it’s been this bad. When the first Bush was in power, we had a bad economy but our standing in the world was above par, and the economy wasn’t as bad as it is today. When are we going to fully realize the extent to which this country has been mismanaged? When gas is $6 a gallon next summer?
What’s hurtful about Obama is my belief that his incredible success has gone to his head, of late, and is clouding his judgment. There’s no doubt about it. Do all politicians, including McCain, do it, and as a matter of fact, do it more? Yes. But Barack is supposed to be different. On issues such as FISA and whether or not the telecommunications companies should receive immunity for unlawfully aiding the government in eavesdropping, his position clearly shifted. He categorically labeled it as illegal and unjust. His position now, indicating that he’s for that immunity, is clearly different from the one he adopted before. Who’s he trying to fool? Barack also previously stated that he would fully utilize diplomacy and talk to states America considers hostile. Not only is that a great position that had been adopted by respected former presidents such as Kennedy and Roosevelt, it is also common sense. It saves lives, resources- both military and monetary- and aggravation. Anybody can be talked to, and wars aren’t as great as they’re built up to be. His position on that obviously changed to a more confrontational one, especially on the Iranian front. He’s shifted his position on guns when he didn’t have to. Bill Clinton was anti-gun throughout his eight years in office. Lastly, but certainly not least, not by any means, was his statement regarding Iraq stating he would be opening to refining his position. Sometimes I wonder who’s being paid to sanction these statements and positions in light of the fact that they’re silly and just don’t add up. He beat Hillary on Iraq. Why would he even try to appear to be open to modifying his position on Iraq, for political purposes?
The Republican Party did erroneously label Barack as a leftist. By leftist, what they really meant was that he was on the other side of their positions which all appear to be wrong by the way. Politicians and political pundits alike have blurred the line of left and right. Left and right would normally be associated with mostly conservative and liberal principles that the Republican and Democratic Party have identified themselves with, like abortion, small government versus big government, taxes, social programs, gay rights, and the like. They are now being used, in the context of what’s being discussed today, outside of the core principles. If McCain and the Republicans say drill offshore for oil and the Democrats say don’t drill, that is not a traditionally conservative or liberal position. When McCain said American forces could stay in Iraq a hundred years if needed and the Democrats said hell no, that had nothing to do with conservatism or liberalism. It’s policy, not left or right, nor conservatism or liberalism. And some of it is just common sense. Barack’s Obama sudden, yes conspicuously sudden, adoption of a whole bunch of issues championed by Republicans was stupid. It doesn’t make sense to start abandoning your positions that were slated to usher in change so you can be more appealing to people who either will be open to you or not. Those hard right Republicans who aren’t being affected by the economy aren’t going to vote for him. To give an air of being open to modify his position on Iraq, something that’s been proving him right every day, is as big a blunder as anybody could ever make. Thankfully, it either hasn’t been fully noticed, or the electorate realizes he’s twice as good candidate to deal with what ails America as McCain. In playing sports, I remember being told, and seeing, that you don’t change a strategy if it’s working. If you’re beating a team, you don’t drastically adopt a new tactic. You keep at it. He opened up double-digit leads over McCain in several polls just so he could shoot himself in the foot? Talk about being self-destructive.
Now, I don’t think McCain or Hillary, or anybody would have fared any better. Hillary had her own huge gaffes when she outright lied about sniper fire and called it a misspeak, my favorite word of 2008. McCain’s a huge flip-flopper, if there ever was one. Barack was supposed to be different though and didn’t have any reason to start acting weird.
I still like and support Obama. I know he’ll be a great president. I’m just worried about a few silly things he’s done. I’m not as enthusiastic or as zealous as I once was. I don’t feel the need to massively abandon my job as myself and three hundred fellow employees once did to vote for him. Maybe when Election Day dawns, I’ll further see how enormously flawed McCain is and how he really is an extension of failed policies, and find a way to vote for Obama.
By the way, if Republicans want a small government, why don’t they refrain from running for office? Government would be a lot smaller without them in Congress, the Senate, and most notable the White House.


Anonymous said...

I was never zealous about Obama. His idealism was refreshing but not rewarding. When it came down to brass tax, I felt, like others have, that he was another politician using idealism to whip the democrats into a frenzy and it worked. I am glad it worked. But, it is more important to ask will it take him to the White House. Idealism and the audacity of hope might have won him the nonimation, but will it win him the elections? I doubt it. Ideals do not win elections; politics do.

Whatever face Obama needs to put on to win, he should do it. Whatever trick he has in his arsenal, he should use it. If you are true supporter, believer or fan of Obama, you should realize this. To sit down there and be naive and say Obama has abandoned his tenets is to say that you have no true idea what it takes to win a presidency. Obama is not your best friend; he is your best chance at winning; and the willingness to abandon him in the home stretch for making some stragetic choices is close to sacrilege and weakness.

Do not use past presidents as examples of exemplary policitians. Clinton was no saint whether in the bedroom or in politics. When he was in the race, he played to win and so is Obama. I am not an Obama fan. I am an Obama supporter to the end. Will you be?

TP said...

The Audacity of Vanity

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, July 18, 2008; Washington Post Page A17

Barack Obama wants to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. He figures it would be a nice backdrop. The supporting cast -- a cheering audience and a few fainting frauleins -- would be a picturesque way to bolster his foreign policy credentials.

What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is something you earn. President Ronald Reagan earned the right to speak there because his relentless pressure had brought the Soviet empire to its knees and he was demanding its final "tear down this wall" liquidation. When President John F. Kennedy visited the Brandenburg Gate on the day of his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, he was representing a country that was prepared to go to the brink of nuclear war to defend West Berlin.

Who is Obama representing? And what exactly has he done in his lifetime to merit appropriating the Brandenburg Gate as a campaign prop? What was his role in the fight against communism, the liberation of Eastern Europe, the creation of what George Bush the elder -- who presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall but modestly declined to go there for a victory lap -- called "a Europe whole and free"?

Does Obama not see the incongruity? It's as if a German pol took a campaign trip to America and demanded the Statue of Liberty as a venue for a campaign speech. (The Germans have now gently nudged Obama into looking at other venues.)

Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?

Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted "present" nearly 130 times. As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself.
It is a subject upon which he can dilate effortlessly.

In his victory speech upon winning the nomination, Obama declared it a great turning point in history -- "generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment" -- when, among other wonders, "the rise of the oceans began to slow." As Hudson Institute economist Irwin Stelzer noted in his London Daily Telegraph column, "Moses made the waters recede, but he had help." Obama apparently works alone.

Obama may think he's King Canute, but the good king ordered the tides to halt precisely to refute sycophantic aides who suggested that he had such power. Obama has no such modesty.

After all, in the words of his own slogan, "we are the ones we've been waiting for," which, translating the royal "we," means: " I am the one we've been waiting for." Amazingly, he had a quasi-presidential seal with its own Latin inscription affixed to his lectern, until general ridicule -- it was pointed out that he was not yet president -- induced him to take it down.

He lectures us that instead of worrying about immigrants learning English, "you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish" -- a language Obama does not speak. He further admonishes us on how "embarrassing" it is that Europeans are multilingual but "we go over to Europe, and all we can say is 'merci beaucoup.' " Obama speaks no French.

His fluent English does, however, feature many such admonitions, instructions and improvements. His wife assures us that President Obama will be a stern taskmaster: "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism . . . that you come out of your isolation. . . . Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

For the first few months of the campaign, the question about Obama was: Who is he? The question now is: Who does he think he is?
We are getting to know. Redeemer of our uninvolved, uninformed lives. Lord of the seas. And more. As he said on victory night, his rise marks the moment when "our planet began to heal." As I recall -- I'm no expert on this -- Jesus practiced his healing just on the sick. Obama operates on a larger canvas.


Anonymous said...

To anonymous. This is Timi Odulate. You couldn't possibly be more of an Obama supporter than I am. I have invested time, money, and fights with his opponents and their supporters in the course of my support for him. I voted for him and personally ensured that some uncommitted individuals, some of them friends of mine, voted for him. I have lost sleep and stayed up, many a time, assimilating information, and disseminating fact from fiction. His political move championing some of Bush's policies was a stupid one, and one need not wait for John Kerry and Al Gore's fates, respectively, to be applied to his campaign. You dont beat a Republican by trying to be a Republican. You do it by being as partisan as you can, in this case Democratic, and by being right in the process. That's the right politics. Ask George Bush how he did it. His policies weren't even right in his case, but he could barely even stay in the same room with a Democratic Senator, much less champion their policies. As a matter of fact, he made it "unpatriotic" to dissent to any of his views. How did Bill Clinton win? "The economy stupid". Remember? If you were to run for office, you would obviously lose. Supporting somebody also gives you the right to criticize them when they err. He still vastly remains the superior candidate and come Fall, unless I suddenly fall victim to gbanja smoking, I will vote for him. To end, he recently personally responded to my letter to him, indicating that his support of the telecommunications immunity act was flawed and that he would seek a better position as president. So you see, always hold your politicians accountable.

Anonymous said...

Hello Timi,
It would be a good idea to post the response too, democracy in action takes time, guts, and yes passion, holding politician accountable takes time, tou took the time, which shows that you care about your country. I wish we could all take the time to show our politicians that we are citizens and we do want things in our countries to get better, and our politician to be honest, to show the way...